17th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition


[ot-caption title=”The revival of classical music starting with the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition. (screenshot/Chopin Institute Video)”]

On October 20, 2015, classical music aficionados around the world – amateurs and professionals alike – waited in suspense for the announcement of the results of the 17th International Chopin Piano Competition’s final round.  Held every five years in Warsaw, Poland, the competition features the music of composer Frédéric Chopin and is renowned as one of the music world’s most prestigious events.  A pool of eighty-four ambitious young musicians had been whittled down to ten finalists who delivered performances of Chopin’s concertos over the course of three breathtaking, climactic days.

As the jury deliberated for hours after the last performances of the final round, the long wait did not deter enthusiasts.  It was well past midnight in many regions of the world when the prizewinners’ names were finally revealed.

The gold medal and a prize of thirty thousand euros were awarded to South Korean pianist Seong-Jin Cho.  The jury’s verdict did not come as a surprise to many, as Cho had demonstrated remarkable consistency, brilliance, and artistry throughout the competition.

The silver medal was presented to Charles Richard-Hamelin, from Canada, and American Kate Liu won the bronze medal.  The fourth, fifth, and sixth prizes were awarded to Eric Lu, Tony Yike Yang, and Dmitry Shishkin, respectively.

The competition’s results sparked much debate regarding the future of classical music.  Many expressed hope that the talented artists competing worldwide would continue to interpret great works as well as spread classical music’s influence among a younger generation.

When asked for his opinion on the outcome of the competition, Santiago Rodriguez, chairman of the Frost School of Music’s piano department, remarked, “The beauty of this system is that young people everywhere are receiving a good music education.  It’s incredible that competitors nowadays are so diverse – coming from many regions, with different backgrounds.”

The enthusiasm and passion displayed during the Chopin Competition prove that despite a changing society with changing values, many people are still devoted to preserving the integrity and beauty of the arts.